Sioux Falls (June 30, 2014) — South Dakota Democratic Party Chairwoman Deb Knecht released the following statement after the US Supreme Court gave bosses the power to deny women coverage for birth control:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision will make it even more difficult for South Dakota women to access basic preventative healthcare like birth control.“This decision means your boss has the power to make healthcare decisions for you based on his own personal beliefs. That’s wrong – and it’s going to cost women hundreds of dollars a year if their employers refuse to cover birth control. Health care decisions should be left between a woman and her doctor – not her boss.
“I’m also deeply concerned about the implications of this decision now that the personal beliefs of the owners of a corporation can trump laws protecting the rights of women to healthcare. What’s next? As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her dissent, would this exemption “extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]’“But I’m not surprised Republicans are praising the decision. Time and time again, the GOP has stood on the wrong side of many issues facing women such as opposing equal pay legislation, delaying the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and interfering between a woman and her doctor. It’s just more of the same here even though the public supports the birth control measure by a two to one margin.
“The contrast between our parties again is clear: Democrats are fighting for women. Republicans are fighting against them.”
Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby is not just a healthcare or a women’s issue – it’s an economic issue and a family issue.
o Nearly 50 million women are now guaranteed access to contraception without a copay while access to birth control at no-cost could save the average woman up to $600 each year — that’s up to $600 that a family could use to put gas in a car, food on the table, or put toward a child’s education.
o Birth control has helped women move closer to economic equity. Research finds that availability of the pill is responsible for a third of women’s wage increases relative to men since the 1960s.
o Birth control expands opportunities for women. A 2012 report by the Guttmacher Institute confirmed that women use contraception to better achieve their life goals, with the majority of participants reporting that contraception has had a significant impact on their lives.
The GOP is not listening to the American people on this issue.
o A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll asked whether employers should be able to choose what forms of contraceptives their health plans provide based on their religious beliefs. Of those responding, 53 percent disagreed and 35 percent agreed.
o The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, released in April, found “the public supports the requirement by a nearly 2-to-1 margin (61% support, 32% oppose).”
o According to a PRRI Religion and Politics Tracking Survey, the majority of Americans believe that publicly held and privately owned corporations should be required to provide contraception coverage at no cost to their employees.
o A Hart Research Poll found that 68% of women voters between the ages of 18 and 55 say that corporations should not be able to exempt themselves from the requirement of covering contraception in their health plans because they object to contraception on religious grounds. More than half of women characterize their opposition to this exemption as strong.